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HomezimbabweCorruption Scandal Deepens at Cottco, Zimbabwe – ZimEye

Corruption Scandal Deepens at Cottco, Zimbabwe – ZimEye

Corruption Scandal Deepens at Cottco, Zimbabwe

In a devastating turn of events, Cottco, once celebrated as the cornerstone of Zimbabwe’s agricultural sector, is engulfed in a severe corruption scandal that threatens its very survival. Recent allegations have implicated several senior managers in schemes involving the theft of farming inputs, fuel, and cotton products, plunging the company into chaos.

Over the past year, a disturbing pattern of mismanagement and corruption has led to the suspension or resignation of key figures within the company, including the recent suspension of the loss control manager, Mr. Tonodaishe Hove, accused of mishandling investigations and obstructing justice.

Cottco’s chairperson, Mr. Sifelani Jabangwe, confirmed that multiple internal and police-led investigations are underway. These probes are focused on a broad spectrum of abuses, including theft of resources crucial for cotton production. The investigations are now expanding to include all business units in a sweeping effort to restore order and transparency.

This ongoing crisis hits at a critical time for Cottco, which had been on a recovery path after government intervention in 2014 helped stabilize the company following a previous financial crisis. Cotton production had improved significantly under the revitalization plan, but these gains are now at risk as the current leadership vacuum and the board’s expired term add to the instability.

The Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water, and Rural Development has acknowledged the gravity of the situation, with Permanent Secretary Prof Obert Jiri citing severe issues with the abuse of cotton supplies.

As Cottco grapples with these challenges, the implications for local farmers and the broader agricultural sector are profound. The corruption scandal not only jeopardizes the livelihoods of those dependent on cotton farming but also risks derailing the progress made in reviving this vital industry in Zimbabwe.

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